Alex Frank | Sports Director Zach Fries | Staff Reporter Joe Petrosino | Staff Reporter
Ethan Bastian | Staff Reporter Sean McMahon | Staff Reporter
If there’s anything we learned from week seven of the 2018 NFL regular season, it’s that sometimes the game of football can come down to the kicker.
Three games last week were ultimately decided by the kicker with two teams losing on missed kicks.
Here are the updated standings in the #BattlefortheBoathouse and our week eight picks.
The broadcasters for each game are in parentheses.
1. Zach: 27-12 Joe: 25-14 3. Alex: 23-16 4. Ethan and Sean: 19-20
Miami Dolphins @ Houston Texans – 8:20 p.m. on FOX and NFL Network (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Kristina Pink)
Alex: Texans 27 Dolphins 20 Zach: Texans 27 Dolphins 17 Joe: Texans 33 Dolphins 24
Ethan: Texans 28 Dolphins 16 Sean: Dolphins 25 Texans 20
Zach: Two teams going in opposite directions; the Dolphins started 3-0 while the Texans started 0-3. Both teams are now 4-3. The Texans sit in first place in the AFC South despite a tough start. The Dolphins are banged up, especially at receiver. Also, Brock Osweiler will start at quarterback yet again for the injured Ryan Tannehill. I think Houston will stay hot and beat Miami fairly comfortably.
Joe: This looks like it’s going to be a tough game for the Texans who have won four straight and coming off a big win at the Jaguars after starting 0-3. The Dolphins have a very good secondary who will give Watson some problems, but I don’t think running back Kenyon Drake and that offense will be able to put up enough points against the elite Texans D anchored by J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network in London (Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci, Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin, Melissa Stark, Peter Schrager)
Alex: Eagles 30 Jaguars 21 Zach: Eagles 21 Jaguars 13 Joe: Eagles 27 Jaguars 20
Ethan: Eagles 24 Jets 16 Sean: Eagles 27 Jaguars 25
Joe: I like the Eagles in a close hard-fought game in this season’s third London game at Wembley Stadium. Both teams are coming into this game pretty banged up with the Jags missing cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Tyler Patmon. I see Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz putting on a good show over there and taking advantage of a short-changed Jaguars defense.
New York Jets @ Chicago Bears – 1 p.m. on CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson)
Alex: Bears 27 Jets 20 Zach: Bears 27 Jets 23 Joe: Bears 21 Jets 13
Ethan: Bears 30 Jets 20 Sean: Bears 33 Jets 17
Ethan: The Bears come in at an even 3-3. But sometimes records lie, and this is the case here. Chicago has the makings of a dangerous NFC team that can surprise a lot of people down the stretch this season. They should have beaten the Packers, and they were a yard short from an overtime game with the Patriots, and with the way this season has gone anything can happen. But look for them to get a win Sunday as they stay competitive in a very tight NFC North.
Green Bay Packers @ Los Angeles Rams – 4:25 p.m. on FOX (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews)
Alex: Packers 41 Rams 38 Zach: Rams 34 Packers 21 Joe: Rams 40 Packers 31
Ethan: Rams 35 Packers 28 Sean: rams 25 Packers 23
Zach: Coming off a bye, the Packers certainly have a touch test against arguably the best team in the NFL, the Rams. In a log-jammed NFC North, the Packers find themselves in a critical stretch. Green Bay will play four out of their next five on the road, including trips to New England, Seattle and Minnesota. Aaron Rodgers is undeniably great, but the Packers defense has been atrocious. On the other side, the Rams offense has been unstoppable, scoring over 30 points in six of their first seven games. Todd Gurley is turning in one of the best seasons from a running back in recent memory. I don’t see Green Bay slowing them down; Rams win easily.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:20 p.m. on NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
Alex: Saints 34 Vikings 27 Zach: Saints 30 Vikings 27 Joe: Vikings 31 Saints 30
Ethan: Saints 35 Vikings 34 Sean: Saints 28 Vikings 24
Alex: America’s Game for week eight features a rematch from last year’s NFC Divisional Playoff game that ended with one of the most memorable plays in not just playoff history but the entire history of the NFL. I think this could be the game of the year. It’s got that much potential. But I’m going with the Saints to win this highly-anticipating showdown on the road. Even though they are seeking revenge, they are the better team going into this matchup. Everyone remembers last year’s game for the “Minneapolis Miracle,” but the truth is the Vikings wouldn’t have been in a position to pull that off had it not been for Drew Brees’s incredible second-half performance. I think he will have a big game Sunday night and keep the Saints hopes alive for home-field advantage in the NFC Playoffs.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills – 8:15 p.m. on ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters)
Alex: Patriots 41 Bills 7 Zach: Patriots 42 Bills 14 Joe: Patriots 38 Bills 17
Ethan: Patriots 37 Bills 21 Sean: Patriots 35 Bills 15
Sean: The Patriots haven’t had such a great year so far. They’re coming off a week where they almost lost to the Bears on a last second desperation heave by Mitch Trubisky. Their defense is terrible, but their offense is playing pretty well, per usual. That’s what happens when you’re led by the G.O.A.T.. The Bills on the other hand, aren’t that great. The Pats should beat them relatively easily.